Since prehistoric times, gold has been a valued and coveted resource. Gold is referenced in the New Testament as well as in numerous literary works of ancient Greek. Gold was lauded in Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back to 2600 B.C. Pre-biblical populations from Troy to Africa marveled at the stone's brilliant luster and associated it with wealth, prestige, and immortality. Used primarily as decor for thousands of years, gold has been made into plates, cups, vases, and jewelry, as well as shrines and idols. Its presence can be found in many of the most distinguished foreign artifacts currently on display.
Today, gold is used in dentistry, electronics, and even in heating materials. Gold has expanded its role from being an exquisite metal for personal adornment and general décor. Enjoying a surge in popularity and economic prowess, especially in emerging markets such as China, gold is trading at historically high prices not seen since the early 1980s. From the glitzy masks of Egyptian pharaohs to modern earrings, bracelets, and wristwatches, gold consistently provides a high standard of quality in personal jewelry.
Colors of Gold
Although the most common shade manufactured for jewelry is a light yellow, gold is available in a variety of hues. A better understanding of the different color options available can help customers pick out the perfect piece of jewelry. Colored gold can accentuate the presence of diamonds or other gemstones. Although most customers simply select one shade, fusing multiple styles together can create spectacular results.
Yellow gold is alloyed with copper and silver for extra strength. Its natural tone coincides well with all skin types and gemstones. The concentration of yellow in yellow gold is influenced by its content. The larger or purer the karat, the brighter and deeper the yellow will appear. Pure 24 karat gold, gold that has no alloys mixed in, would thus be the deepest of the colors.
White gold has grown in popularity over the recent years as a fresh alternative to yellow. White gold is alloyed with a combination of palladium alloy, zinc, and nickel. The shade looks particularly vibrant when accompanying a sparkling white diamond. The alloys in white gold make it harder then yellow gold. Depending on the alloys used to produce the white gold, much of it is finished with a rhodium plating that gives it a bright white finish. This masks the slightly yellowish tone that may appear.
Rose gold is a combination of copper and gold. Rose gold hasa soft tone that compliments and enriches skin’s natural coloring, especially in fair skinned people. The highest karat version of rose gold is 22 karats; this is often referred to as Crown’s gold. A medium strength version of rose gold resembles the color blush.
The softness of gold allows it to be shaped into a variety of forms and designs.This quality also makes it necessary for gold to be alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and more durable if it is to be used in jewelry. Because the concentration of gold varies from piece to piece, jewelers use the karat system to designate levels of gold purity. Pure gold contains 24 karats; however, due to its softness, this level of purity is rarely used in jewelry. Most high-end jewelry in North America ranges between 14-18 karats. The most common karat strength in gold jewelry is 14K, because this level of purity provides a popular distribution of hardness and flexibility at an affordable price. Most of the designer jewelry and finer imported European jewelry is 18K. The lowest level of gold purity sold in the United States is 10K. Below this level an itemcannot be called gold jewelry. In order to be sure of the purity level of a certain piece of jewelry, customers can check the quality mark. This designation will either provide the number of karats (the American system), or an exponent of the percentage of gold content (the European system). For example: 18 karat = 18/24 pure gold or .750 14 karat = 14/24 pure gold or .585 10 karat = 10/24 pure gork or .417
A piece of gold jewelry is an expression that has the potential to last a lifetime. If properly stored and cared for, its spark will notfade as the years pass. However, to ensure jewelry does not diminish in appearance or quality, it must be treated with caution, care, and concern. The first and most important rule to remember is to avoid reckless or strenuous behavior while wearing gold jewelry. Rings and bracelets should be removed prior to any athletic activity in order to protect them from dings and dents. The same precautions should be taken for household projects, job related tasks, or any action in which the potential to inflict damage is high. Next, make sure to avoid harsh chemicals while wearing your jewelry. General household cleaners can be abrasive and can seriously weaken gold. In addition, swimming pools and Jacuzzis should not beused with gold jewelry on because the chlorine can cause serious damage to the metal. In order to keep the shine of your jewelry, be sure to clean it on a consistent basis. A preferred cleaning solution is sudsy and lukewarm water used with a soft tooth brush. Owners can also bring their jewelry to a professional cleaner to have it steam cleaned. When drying, use a chamois or soft cloth to avoid scratches. One thing you should always pay attention to is how two pieces of jewelry, especially rings, wear or abradeagainst one another. One of the most common causes of weakened prongs holdinga diamond or a gemstone is another piece rubbing against it. In the case of two rings being worn on the same finger, the solution can be as simple as a thin spacer ring worn between the two to keep them apart. Finally, a key to keeping your jewelry in top condition is proper storage. When your jewelry is not being worn, place it in a jewelry box or on a soft cloth. It is highly recommended that you store pieces separately so they do not rub against each other.